Sunday, February 28, 2010


The English free improvising trombonist Paul William Rutherford, was born on February 29, 1940 in Greenwich, South East London. Rutherford initially played saxophone but switched to trombone. During the 1960s, he taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama..

In 1970, Rutherford, guitarist Derek Bailey and bassist Barry Guy formed the improvising group Iskra 1903, which lasted until 1973. (This formation was documented on a double-LP from Incus, later reissued with much bonus material on the 3-CD set Chapter One (Emanem, 2000). A film soundtrack was separately released as Buzz Soundtrack. Iskra 1903 was one of the earliest free improvising groups to omit a drummer/percussionist, permitting the players to explore a range of textures and dynamics which set it apart from other contemporary improvising ensembles like SME and AMM.

The group's unusual name means "spark" in Russian; it was the title of a revolutionary newspaper edited by Lenin. The "1903" designation means "20th century music for trio"; occasionally Evan Parker played with the group (Iskra 1904) and Rutherford also at one point assembled a 12-piece ensemble called, inevitably, Iskra 1912.

The group was later revived with Philip Wachsmann replacing Bailey, a phase of the group's life that lasted from roughly 1977 to 1995; its earlier work is documented on Chapter Two (Emanem, 2006) and its final recordings were issued on Maya (Iskra 1903) and Emanem (Frankfurt 1991).

Rutherford also played with Globe Unity Orchestra, London Jazz Composer's Orchestra, Centipede, and the Mike Westbrook Orchestra. He also played a very small number of gigs with Soft Machine. He is perhaps most famous for solo trombone improvisations. His album "The Gentle harm of burgeoisie" is a landmark recording in solo trombone and his 1983 Trio album Gheim, recorded at the Bracknell Jazz Festivel is another acclaimed work.

Rutherford was a major player in the British free improvisation scene and part of the European

free jazz c scene. He was one of the first to use unorthodox playing techniques for improvisation. Rutherford was also one of the first to use trombone multiphonics, i.e. he sang into the trombone and blew at the same time.

Rutherford died on 5 August 2007, aged 67.
Paul Rutherford and his group Iskra 1903, does, "Die Strasse"'
Reference - Wikipédia

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